Yesterday we were all finally well enough and the temperatures broke through sub-zero so we had a day in the snow! At seven and a half months pregnant I was crawling through and sitting in the snow, probably at least a couple feet worth, building snow forts for my two oldest daughters. We have a maple tree in the backyard whose lowest branches are almost unreachable to me but yesterday I had to duck to get beneath its firm branches. I dug, cracked out snow bricks and stacked walls of pure white. It was about freezing outside for a change so neither the baby nor I caught a chill. I can only wonder what the the baby thought about being submitted in close proximity to so much cold. By the time we got inside I was literally wet and immersed in memories of stripping off similar, but much smaller sized, winter clothing throughout my childhood.
While digging through the snow I uncovered a perfectly wrinkled brown leaf which appeared to be from the willow. It gave me a chance to think about my garden and what I will plant this year, how I will introduce this new baby into our yard through the textures and colors of my flowers. It also gave me a chance to reflect on how far I've come since losing Wyatt. We moved into this house just a month after he was born. The yard was minimally landscaped and one of the first things we did was to plant his willow tree and make a space for flowers beneath. At the time I knew almost nothing about plants, not out of ignorance, but on purpose. My parents had beautiful flowers throughout our yard as I grew up, however my memories on the subject revolve around the endless hours we spent traversing from nursery to nursery looking for the perfect plants. It was with that conscious rejection that I made my first trip as an adult to a nursery and carefully selected plants for Wyatt's garden. It has been a project seven, going on eight, summers in the making. Each year it is more abundant and beautiful, just as I imagine my son would be. I imagine this year I will spend alot of time working in my flower gardens, aspiring to capture pieces of beauty which have slipped through my fingers.